Welcome to the second part of the article series, how to set up intermittent fasting for fat loss.
If you haven’t read the first part yet I really suggest you check it out, it explains the 2 reasons why intermittent fasting for fat loss works so well.
Here are the parts:
- Part 1 – The 2 reasons why intermittent fasting for fat loss works so well
- Part 2 – How to set up intermittent fasting for fat loss
- Part 3 – How to stay lean while building muscle with intermittent fasting
In this article, we’ll take the why from the first part and look at how to set up intermittent fasting when it comes to losing fat.
We’ll also cover how to structure your training in conjunction with intermittent fasting.
Let’s dig in!
How to Set Up Intermittent Fasting for Fat Loss
As covered in part one, I always recommend skipping breakfast and in some cases postponing your lunch as well.
Eating most of your food in the second part of the day helps a lot with comfort and satiety.
Here are the benefits of skipping breakfast that we covered in part 1:
- Better hunger control because of the fasted periods.
- You’ll find it harder to overeat because of a shorter eating window.
- You can save a buffer of calories for the evening, allowing you to eat out.
- You will spend less time preparing and eating food, meaning more productive days.
- You’ll have more calories to eat in each meal, which means more satiating and satisfying meals.
- Removes the need for cheat-meals. With the large meals, every meal will feel like a cheat-meal.
But hey, you know the benefits of intermittent fasting by this time, right?
So, let’s look at how to actually set it up.
The intermittent fasting style that I use and recommend is different from the usual 16:8, 20:4, and other common methods out there.
I call it Flexible Fasting and it works extremely well!
Here it is:
I suggest you try this setup or at least a similar one.
And as time goes by, don’t be afraid to change stuff around if you find something that is working better for you.
Having such a mindset is incredibly important for long-term success.
Now, before we continue, let’s back up for a second.
Let’s look at how The Flexible Fasting approach really works and why it’s so powerful.
The Power of the Flexible Fasting Approach
Did you notice in the list above that I don’t recommend a time at night when you stop eating?
What I’m about to tell you is the most important thing you’ll ever read when it comes to successfully achieving long-term fat loss.
And I want you to trust me on this.
I’ve devoted four years to learn the hard way, through trial and error how to stay below 10 % body fat year-round effortlessly, if I so chose to.
Okay, so what’s the secret?
It’s actually pretty simple and very liberating.
Stop depending so much on willpower!
In fact, humans are terrible at depending on willpower, especially to stay lean.
The “secret” with the flexible fasting approach is that you will reduce the times that you depend on willpower. Which is key!
Think of willpower as a battery
When you wake up your willpower is 100 % charged and you feel ready to crush your day. Your battery is full.
During the day, you make thousands of decisions which all take their share of willpower from your battery.
At night, depending on the magnitude of your daily tasks your willpower status may look like this:
This is perfectly normal and why we need food, relaxation and sleep to replenish our system.
So, what does this have to do with staying lean?
Managing willpower can be the difference between regularly going on binges and periods of yoyo dieting, or having a healthy eating pattern and successfully staying lean long-term!
How to Become Lean by Managing Willpower
When you force yourself to stop eating at say 8 or 9 PM like you would with the usual 16:8 protocol. You must depend on willpower at the hardest time ever to do so, when you’re already in the red zone!
Having to resist eating with low willpower is not an easy situation to be in, neither is it comfortable.
The risk of going on a binge is extremely high during this time.
It’s also a time when people want to eat and enjoy food together.
See where I’m going with this?By allowing yourself to eat at night it becomes downright easy to stay lean! Click To Tweet
And don’t worry,
The Flexible Fasting method makes this up by postponing your first meal 6-8 hours into the upcoming day instead.
This leaves you with only one time that you must depend on willpower. Which is during the morning and day when you are fasting. A time that is scientifically shown to be the easiest to rely on willpower.
And to be honest, the fasted hours are so easy to go through anyway. Especially with the help of the 4 tricks being steps 2-5 from the list, and the knowledge that you can relax with an upcoming feast later in the day.
Now, before looking at the 4 tricks that make the fasting downright simple, let me ask you a question:
What would you choose?
Option 1: Coming home from work followed by a training session feeling completely drained, knowing that you must resist eating food all night to stay lean; or
Option 2: Coming home from work followed by a training session feeling completely drained, knowing that you have a feast with family, friends or in front of your favorite tv-series, all while staying lean.
Pretty certain that few people would go for the first option.
4 Tricks to Make the Fasting Window Feel So Easy That You’ll Question if it’s Even Working
1. Drink water
Drinking water is more a necessity than a trick.
But, above keeping us alive and well, water also does the trick of blunting appetite.
One thing that’s common in today’s age is mixing hunger with thirst.
Very often the hunger that you experience is actually just thirst, especially during the morning hours.
Drinking a large glass of water right after waking up, followed by a few glasses during the fast is not only healthy for the body, by cleaning it from toxins and making sure we’re hydrated, it’s also very appetite suppressant.
So, drink water!
Another neat trick that I’ve tried is drinking sparkling water, and it works extremely well! The carbonic acid fills up the stomach a lot which is effective at suppressing appetite.
2. Drink 1-2 cups of coffee during the fast
This is the creme de la creme when it comes to blunting appetite.
Just remember to not over consume coffee though. Try sticking to two cups a day max.
Caffeine is a stimulant substance, which means that it’s easy to become resistant to it. When that happens, the effects on satiety diminish, and the refreshing effects of caffeine get reduced as well.
3. Move around
This is an odd one.
Isn’t it contradictory to believe that moving around actually blunts appetite?
Well, it does and here’s why:
- By staying active during your fasted window, you get your mind off eating by changing your state. This is true because you get a sense of purpose and certainty by moving. Like my great mentor and role model, Tony Robbins, used to say; “Motion creates emotion.” By moving you positively change your physical state, which means you’re also changing your mental state and breaking your negative patterns (Like thinking about eating).
- When you’re active, your body starts to effectively mobilize and use fat for fuel, especially while you’re in a fasted state. This further reduces hunger because your body “realizes” that it has energy available in the form of stored fat.
4. Eat a fruit
When you’re at the end of your fast and haven’t eaten anything in 15-20 hours, your liver glycogen stores are slowly getting smaller, this sends strong signals of hunger.
By having an apple, for example, you will get a small amount of fructose in your blood.
This is highly beneficial at this hour.
You see, fructose is a sugar that can only be taken up by the liver.
What this means is that you’ll fill up your liver glycogen stores with only 75-100 calories and blunt your appetite for another couple of hour. This is great, now you can fast for longer and have an even bigger feast come evening.
Now, let’s quickly recap how to set up intermittent fasting with the flexible fasting approach in mind:
Let’s shift gears and take a look at training.
How to Structure your Training in Conjunction with Intermittent Fasting
There’s only one guideline for training in conjunction with intermittent fasting.
That’s to put your training session anywhere after your first meal or immediately before it.
This is true for both lifting and cardio.
In fact, when doing intermittent fasting, you can train whenever you want during the day.
However, there’s one caveat.
Don’t place your training too far out from your eating window
If you’re looking to really maximize your training results. You shouldn’t delay your post-workout meal more than 2 hours after your training is completed if you didn’t have a pre-workout meal that day.
So, if you’re training early in the morning, it’s not optimal for the maintenance and growth of your muscles to wait until lunch before you eat.
You’ll still be able to build muscle and strength of course. Your protein synthesis starts to rise 3-4 hours after training, it reaches its peak at 24 hours and then steadily declines to normal levels 36-48 hours after your workout.
However, if you’re an intermediate to advanced trainee and are closer to your genetic potential when it comes to building muscle, your results will most likely be suboptimal if you don’t provide your body with nutrients shortly after your training session.
So, what to do in this case?
If you must work out early in the morning. I recommend that you eat something that includes protein, such as a protein shake, low-fat cottage cheese or a piece of lean meat post-workout, to make sure you get all your essential amino acids for the muscle protein synthesis to work optimally.
Yes, you’ll break your fast, but only with very few high-quality calories from protein.
Remember that the only benefits that intermittent fasting has when it comes to fat loss is giving you a bigger calorie buffer to play with later in the day. A few calories early in the day in combination with training won’t have any negative impact on your results in any way.
By taking a flexible approach to intermittent fasting, and dieting in general, fat loss becomes much easier and more fun, both short-term and long-term.
Place your training anywhere that’s convenient for your schedule.
However, if you’re looking to maximize your results, place your training anywhere in the eating window or immediately before it.
I hope to see you there!
Want to take it a step further?
Get the book Flexible Fasting today and take your body to the Next Level!
This book goes through everything from fat loss and building muscle with the help of intermittent fasting, to setting up your calories, macronutrients, micronutrients, and implementing a flexible mindset around food.
I wrote this book for you who want a complete resource with the easiest methods possible to achieve an outstanding physique. A physique that both looks incredible and are healthy.